I’m always looking for healthy, tasty treats to add to my snack stash: the more options, the better. And if I think that more options are better, I'd be willing to bet that rats would agree too. It's always good to be able to mix it up a little bit from the standard diet. So, you're in the produce department at the grocery store…and you’re considering other fruits and veggies to add to their diet. You stop by a display of luscious-looking grapes and wonder, "Can pet rats eat grapes?” In short, yes. Please be sure to read our serving recommendations below and consult your exotic veterinarian before adding grapes to their diet. Your vet knows your favorite rodent best.
- Make sure they are fresh. You wouldn't eat grapes that look questionable or moldy...do the same for your ratties.
- Wash first. Just like you would do for yourself, be sure to rinse all produce in water before serving
- Peel and remove seeds. You probably noticed the word peeled in bold above. The reason for this is grape skin and seeds pose a choking hazard for your sweet rats. The easiest way to do this is to cut each grape in half and peel the skin off before giving it to your cuties. You can also pinch the halved grapes to make it easier for your rat to hold.
- One grape per rat sporadically. Most fruit is high in sugar, and that makes grapes extra attractive to your rat. Too many grapes can cause diarrhea.
Not only can rats eat grapes, but they can also actually be very healthy. Grapes contain natural antioxidants and are rich in vitamins C, K, and B12. Read on to learn more about their other benefits.
Could Protect from Cancer
Purple and red grapes are known for their anti-carcinogenic effects. Resveratrol is found in the skips and stalks of red and purple grapes and is the active substance. Another fun fact is resveratrol also acts as a natural shield against cancer cells. Oxidative damage caused by free radicals is a primary source of aging and can cause cancer. (Free radicals are atoms or molecules that are missing an electron. I was terrible at chemistry, so this is a little confusing... bear with me. Just know that free radicals = bad. And oxidative damage is when the creation of harmful free radicals is faster than an antioxidant's ability to neutralize them.)
Because grapes contain natural antioxidants, studies show that they help neutralize the destructive molecules faster. This is good. The same substance, resveratrol, prevents skin from the harmful effects of UV rays and can prevent skin cancer, too. Pretty neat, right? All science aside, grapes contain good stuff for your ratties.
The same substance (resveratrol) works as a nutrient that activates the longevity gene. Studies have shown that it also produces nitric oxide. This essential chemical causes blood vessels to expand and increases blood circulation. As rats age, like humans, their blood vessels start to constrict, making it more difficult for blood to easily flow. This can cause lots of serious health problems associated with the aging process. Resveratrol helps keep those blood vessels open and circulating blood throughout the body.
So next time you’re at the grocery store, you don’t have to wonder, “Can my pet rats eat grapes?” Head over to the produce department and grab your rat a bunch…red or purple preferred. Enjoy!
What are your rats' fave snacks? Please send your comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or post on our socials.